With over five years in childcare experience, I’ve learned a thing or two about what babysitting games kids love. You might consider adding these games whether this is your first time babysitting or you’re a seasoned pro. The key to working with children of any age is to invest yourself fully into the moment. Kids can tell when you’re only half-heartedly playing so become engaged while you play these go-to babysitting games.
If the kids have dress-up clothes, then it’s time to get them out for this babysitting game. The younger the child is, the more likely they want to play princesses or superheroes. Make sure to sport some kind of outfit yourself, such as a wrapped up blanket or a sarong as a make-shift dress. Once you’re all dressed up and ready to go, let your imagination take you on an adventure. The three- and two-year olds I watch both love reenacting “Frozen” scene by scene, but be inventive with a magical land once in a while.
Stuffed animals are a babysitter’s best friend. I bring two of my favorite stuffed animals with me every time I babysit: Sheldon Claude the giraffe and Hedgie the hedgehog. The kids look forward to the consistency of seeing these animals and the joy their personalities bring. You can have a party with their stuffed animals as well as your own. Sheldon and Hedgie both love to play hide-and-seek or tickle-monster, which gets the kids engaged and entertained.
Don’t be afraid to get your hands a little dirty when it comes to arts and crafts. Encourage the children to draw, paint or make something that inspires them. You can use supplies the kids have, such as markers, or collect leaves and glue them to construction paper. Make an animal mask out of a paper plate or go outside and play with chalk. Be creative!
Reading books is fun! You can use crazy voices and exaggerated expressions. If the children are slightly older, then why not brainstorm a story together? Each child can add one sentence to keep the story going. It’s a great activity to do and builds you brownie points with the parents.
I’m not really sure what to call this game but I know that the kids I watch love to play it. The gist is to pretend to be grown ups, such as doctors, hair dressers or parents. It’s fun to just let yourself play with the kids. See what interests them and try to tailor games to what they like, such as science experiments or “professional” athletic training.
With the weather getting warmer, don’t be afraid to start incorporating outside play into your babysitting regime. You can play on a play-set or go to a local park if it’s okay with the parents. The kids can bike or scooter in the driveway, play tag in the backyard or jump on a trampoline, if available. Getting the children outside burns energy and gives you the opportunity to get out of the house for a little while.
Acting out a full-blown musical may or may not interest your child, but why not give singing a shot? You can play music, dance and just have fun with it. Create a band and play at an imaginary gig or play with children’s pianos or drum sets. The most important thing is to have a good time.
I hope these go-to babysitting games help you not only entertain the kids but also help you have a good time. Babysitting should be fun! After all, being a little kid is a great job to have. What are some of your go-to babysitting techniques?
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